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Bills, Dolphins address tackle need in different ways

Pro Football Weekly
Dolphins sign second-round OT Martin
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Dolphins sign second-round OT Martin

The Bills and Dolphins both had needs at tackle, but for different types of players. When the second round began, the draft fell into place to allow each team to grab a tackle to factor in, but Buffalo gets the nod for the better pick.

There were mock drafts pegging Georgia’s Cordy Glenn going to Buffalo with the No. 10 pick overall. Instead, the Bills don’t need to trade at all, and snag the mauler at No. 41. It should go down as another good move by Buddy Nix, who adds his second SEC player in as many picks after selecting three SEC players last year.

When Demetress Bell signed with the Eagles, left tackle suddenly became a priority for Buffalo. There was talk about moving up for Matt Kalil, the only surefire, Day One starter at left tackle in the draft, but the Bills did not reach, stood pat, and took Glenn, who also played guard in college.

“With Glenn, for us, a guy of that size and that type of foot athlete, you’d try him out at left tackle,” Bills director of player personnel Doug Whaley told reporters last week. “He’s got a chance to play there and produce there at a high level.”

From Nolan Nawrocki’s scouting report, Glenn is “both quick and powerful and can mash in the run game and seal the edges.” He has the versatility similar to Bills OLG Andy Levitre to play inside or out, and his run blocking should be a plus for a team that likes to run, and use the screen pass. The question will be: Can Glenn can play blind-side tackle? “Can survive on the left side in the pros if he sheds some weight and drops to 330 pounds,” Nawrocki wrote. Nix has been publicly confident about Chris Hairston, but expect Glenn to challenge Hairston for a starting job at the Bills’ biggest hole on offense.

Their division rivals, the Dolphins, needed a right tackle, and went with the versatile Jonathan Martin, who has been up and down draft boards. There is a lot of disparity when it comes to evaluations of Martin, who Nawrocki called an “overhyped developmental project.” The Dolphins don’t have a starting right tackle, and Martin could compete with Lydon Murtha and John Jerry to start. Martin’s versatility is important, as the team doesn’t have a lot of insurance behind Long.

The reason the Bills’ pick is better isn’t necessarily Jeff Ireland’s fault in Miami. The Dolphins have bigger needs than tackle — pass rusher, being one, but there simply weren’t good enough pass rushers to take at No. 42. Wide receiver is also a need, and it can be argued that Rueben Randle may have been a better pick. The Dolphins do have back-to-back third-round picks to address receiver, though.

The Dolphins did need to add a tackle at some point, and Martin could live up to the hype that had been built previously, which had him with first-round grades. Dolphins fans should put some trust in Joe Philbin, a former O-line coach, with this pick, while Bills fans can be pleased that a player that could have gone in the top-20 was available so late.

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